Hamilton claims pole in Bahrain

Lewis Hamilton has claimed pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday and perhaps that’s no surprise but it is to Nico Rosberg who was sure he had pole covered on his last lap.

Hamilton, having made a mistake on his penultimate attempt, atoned for his error with a sub 1:30 lap. The 3-time champ was in a little hot water after he reversed his car in parc ferme, which you are not allowed to do, but there was no penalty given for his actions.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel thought there my be something to play for when his penultimate lap was just a tenth or two off the Mercedes of Rosberg who was, at the time, on pole. Final laps proved that the Scuderia have a ways to go and it does seem that my hunch of 4-5 tenths off the pace is correct.

The notable performances were certainly Haas F1’s Romain Grosjean who slotted 9th and could be claiming the American team’s legitimate position as a top-10 fighter.

There were serious expectations for McLaren after Jenson Button had gone third fastest during FP3 but it was Fernando Alonso’s stand-in driver, Stoffel Vandoorne, who was the shining star with a 12=place slot on the grid besting his venerable teammate.

Pascal Wehrlein was also a talking point as his Manor car slotted 16th and I have to think had this new debacle of a qualifying system we had, again, he may have done even better.

Qualifying System

The new qualifying system was better than Australia but in the end, it is antithetical to what it was trying to do which was get more cars to run longer and upset the grid as well as create exciting qualifying. Q3 ended with nearly three minutes left on the clock. There were drivers in Q2 who had more to prove but had to park with 5 minutes left in the session.

Pos Driver Car Time Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m29.493s
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m29.570s 0.077s
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m30.012s 0.519s
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m30.244s 0.751s
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/TAG Heuer 1m30.854s 1.361s
6 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m31.153s 1.660s
7 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m31.155s 1.662s
8 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m31.620s 2.127s
9 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m31.756s
10 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m31.772s
11 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m31.816s
12 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 1m31.934s
13 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1m31.945s
14 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m31.998s
15 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/TAG Heuer 1m32.241s
16 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 1m32.806s
17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m32.840s
18 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m32.911s
19 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m33.438s
20 Rio Haryanto Manor/Mercedes 1m34.190s
21 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m34.388s
22 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1m33.181s